The original Thunder Kid: Hunt for the Robot Emperor launched on consoles just a few months ago. And yet, here we are already receiving the sequel. As you’ll learn in this Thunder Kid II: Null Mission review, the sequel is so similar to the original it essentially makes that first title redundant.
For those who aren’t aware of the Thunder Kid series, the games are retro-inspired titles featuring a few modern twists. Low-poly levels and models present a bullet hell platformer of sorts. The level design of the original was rather flat. Players could only explore one or two obvious alternative paths in search of collectable medals. Thunder Kid II: Null Mission improves on this aspect significantly, however. Regular diversions present themselves for both collectables and tactical advantages as you continually move forward through the levels.
However, it’s also not just forward any more. Occasional challenges will have you moving sideways (although the perspective doesn’t change). This however, is where the improvements on the formula begin and end.
Thunder Kid II: Null Mission still offers just one rather puny weapon and a jump manoeuvre for you to take on hundreds of foes. Those enemies are just as challenging as in the original and many appear wholesale, with the same animation and attack patterns. The are new additions which spice things up a bit, but by-and-large it’s the same challenging experience.
The boss battles are also worthy of note. While they play out in the same arena style segment as the original title, they certainly feel fairer than those of the original game. Attacks patterns will change regularly, but there seems to be more signposting between each bombardment. There’s also the addition of mini-bosses which, much like the expanded level design, help add some flavour.
There’s an argument in the modern industry for when sequels are very similar to their predecessor. ‘Should’ve been DLC’ has becomes the games industry equivalent of ‘meeting should’ve been an e-mail’. But with Thunder Kid II: Null Mission, they may have a point. The sequel smooths out some of the rough edges, but doesn’t stand far enough apart to make any real changes. If you loved the first Thunder Kid and are looking for more you can’t go wrong. However, if you weren’t impressed first time around, as you have learned in this Thunder Kid II: Null Mission review, a second time isn’t going to change your mind.
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